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Daily Archives: Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Sidebar: Sudd Madarch – A Dwarven Liquor

In my first Racial Drink article, Sudd Madarch – A Dwarven Liquor, I described what I thought a typical dwarven-made liquor might be like.  I wanted to add a few things here.

I know most fantasy RPGs and fiction depict dwarves as master brewers (and consumers) of ale.  At face value, that’s not a problem.  However, the more I thought about it, the more dissatisfied I became with it. Water can be found underground.  Yeast, being a fungus, can live and reproduce underground.  However, the other major ingredients in ale – barley and hops – require sunlight to grow.  But where do dwarves live?  Underground – in mines and caves, which are pretty much sunless.  So, other than by trade or plunder, dwarves have no sustainable means to produce the ingredients to make ale.  Therefore, I can’t see ale being a core staple of their culture.

However, I can’t imagine a dwarven culture without alcohol of some kind.  Indeed, every real-world human culture has alcohol that is derived from its locally-available resources.  (Yes, I know – there are exceptions.)  So, what do dwarves grow in their underground environment?  My first thought, of course: mushrooms.

That was the basis for the article.

What would a mushroom liquor look like?  Smell like?  Taste like?  I immediately thought of whisky, but with a fungal twist, of course.

What would a subterranean race add for flavor?  My answer: minerals such as copper, or salt, or something else that would be mined.  Also, in the various editions of Dungeons and Dragons at least, dwarves have a resistance to poison – therefore, any dwarven drink would have to have a high alcohol content, as well as a strong, almost overwhelming flavor.

I could expand on the kinds of alcohol dwarves could make, but I think each kind would easily require an additional article on its own.  Also, I’d like to explore the dwarven twist on ales as well.

 
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Posted by on Tuesday, 6 September 2011 in Gaming

 

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